Art Collecting Real Estate Tycoon Aby Rosen Creates Anti-Trump Billboard
Rosen does business with Trump's son-in-law.
Aby Rosen and Donald Trump may both be New York real estate giants, but that doesn’t mean that the art collector is on board with the Apprentice star’s presidential run: Rosen has taken a clear anti-Trump stance by plastering the construction barricades around his property at 375 Lafayette Street in Manhattan with a billboard reading “Vote Your Conscience!”
The billboard prominently features the logo for Rosen’s company, RFR. The message is a reference to the Republican National Convention speech given by former candidate Ted Cruz, who pointedly refused to endorse his former rival. Instead, to a loud chorus of boos, he asked Americans to “vote your conscience.”
The real estate tycoon posted an image of the political message on Instagram with the caption “Wake up America.” It’s particularly impressive that Rosen has made such public statement against Trump, considering that he is a business partner of the presidential candidate’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Before this campaign season, Kushner and his wife Ivanka had been known for donating to Democratic candidates. In line with Kushner’s family’s longstanding history of financially supporting the Democratic party, they even threw New Jersey senator Cory Booker at fundraiser in 2013. Since the launch of Trump’s presidential bid, however, the two have—to the disbelief of some—stood firmly behind the controversial Republican nominee, with Krushner reportedly serving as Trump’s de facto campaign manager.
Together, Rosen and Kushner purchased a $375 million DUMBO office complex in 2014. According to the Real Deal, Rosen backed out of a deal the two men had in the works this August to buy the nearby Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building for $340 million, forcing Kushner to make the purchase with another company instead.
No stranger to courting controversy, Rosen has made art world headlines for ousting the Picasso curtain and the Four Seasons from the Seagram Building, erasing the graffiti from the iconic 190 Bowery, and his new art hotel at 11 Howard Street, which features a Jeff Koons mural.
artnet News reached out to Rosen and RFR, but did not receive an immediate response.
The new billboard has already been attracting some social media love—see Instagram posts about it below.
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